DIY BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

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I always wanted a DIY butcher block countertop because they look so luxurious in the kitchen. 

The dark butcher block kitchen countertop always grabbed my attention.  Every time I walk around IKEA, I stop and linger for awhile.

I moved in with my boyfriend, now hubby, when I was 18.  It was a really nice apartment but the one lacking area, was the kitchen…

It was a tiny sink and a tiny counter and it was really frustrating.

Within a month of bumping into each other we knew that someday we wanted a BIG kitchen!

18 years later we finally have our BIG kitchen 🙂  lol…

Finished DIY Butcher Block

HOW TO MAKE THE BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

This was so much fun!

I called in my dad to give me a hand because I needed to borrow a couple of his tools. 😉

Thankfully, he felt bad for me, or maybe didn’t want to be called next time…. because he left me a couple tools that he said I could keep. lol

As always my kids helped out with this as well!

Removing the old tile counter top

REMOVE OLD COUNTERTOP

The first thing you need to do is obviously get rid of the old countertop.

There was old tile on the counter, talk about hard to keep clean… Seriously, it makes no sense to me to put tile as a counter.

My kids had the best time taking the hammer to the tile. It was so much fun just watching them!

Remember to wear your safety glasses because that stuff can fly.

WHAT WOOD DO I USE TO MAKE A BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP?

You could spend a small fortune if you want a real solid wood butcher block. Depending on the type of wood you want the price will vary greatly.

Here are a few places that offer already done butcher block slabs:

  • Ikea has affordable butcher block style countertops but only a portion is real wood.
  • Wayfair has some really nice ones as well.
  • HomeDepot have a few options.
  • KJP Select Hardwood If you have the budget, this is your go to place. The 1st time I walked in I was in AWE! It is incredible… full of various types and selections of wood.

The reality is, if you want true hardwood, you are talking mega dollars.

After we had all the tile off, we had to the old countertop off.

The old counter top

It actually came off really easy. As in lift off easy…

Take note: This picture shows the pieces of wood that you are going to screw he new wood into. You will be screwing from the bottom, underneath so that you don’t see the screws.

The only area that gave me a bit of trouble was the area under the vertical backsplash along the wall.

I used a gyprock knife to cut along the caulking but it was still really snuck in under the tile.

If this happens, take you time and slowing but firmly wiggle the countertop out. Do not yank it or you risk breaking your backsplash.

Finally, it was all removed and I had a clear working space to build my new countertop.

I decided to go with pine boards that are often used as shelving. They are super cheap, I love the knots in the wood and I wanted the farmhouse old countertop look so I was ok with a soft wood.

If you know you will go nuts with marks on your counter, do not use pine. I loved how antique looking it becomes and I had already experimented with it so I knew I would be ok with it.

START TO LAY YOUR NEW COUNTERTOP

dad, Ryleigh and I installing the new wood for the butcher block

This is by far my favorite picture of this project!

My dad and I started to measure the countertop pieces and Ryleigh worked away sanding.

Remember when I mentioned the pieces of wood that you will screw the new wood onto. Once you measure and make you cut, you will screw the piece on from the underside.

Use as large of piece as you can so you don’t have to deal with many seems.

THE BUTCHER BLOCK EDGE

This is the part that makes the butcher block look so real!

All you have to do is decide how think you want your countertop to look. Then, using a table saw cut strips of the pine wood to the correct length to run alone the side of the wood you have laid down.

This will be the edge part. You just use a nail gun to join the side edge piece to the counter.

You can see the edge piece in my photos. It give the look of a really luxurious high end butcher block!

SAND YOUR BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

Sand, sand, sand and when you think you are done, sand more!

This is the longest part but I actually enjoy sanding. I find it kind of therapeutic in a way.

I started with a 60 grit sandpaper and worked up to 220. Yup, that is really fine. I wanted a very smooth surface.

Ryleigh inspecting the butcher block to make sure it is smooth.

GET THE WOOD READY

I know I say all the steps are important but this one really is…

Make sure that if you go with pine that you condition the wood.

You just need a tiny bottle and one coat but this will make a huge difference in how your stain looks.

WOOD CONDITIONER

This is the one that I used. Actually, I use this one for everything. I love Minwax brand!

The key is to make sure that you use water based wood conditioner with water based stain with water based polyurethane. If you are using polyurethane.

I used epoxy and I will show you that as well.

A little goes a long way. I bought the smallest size and it was perfect for this large countertop plus the smaller side one in the pictures.

WHAT STAIN TO CHOOSE FOR MY BUTCHER BLOCK?

The colour is preference. I wanted a red/brown that would look rice and warm.

I went with red oak by Minwax. Again, I highly recommend you stick with Minwax as it is very consistent.

This is the exact one that I used and here are the pics of what it looked like on.

Complete stained DIY butcher block
Stained DIY butcher block countertop

EPOXY OR POLYURETHANE

This was a tough one for me to decide. So, I tried both…

Not on purpose…. lol

I tried the polyurethane first and did soooo many layers and finally decided it just wouldn’t be strong enough to give the protection that I wanted.

I went with this epoxy in the end and it is amazing!

They have it at Lowe’s and Homedepot.

Check out how glossy it looks! I love it!!

If you don’t want it that glossy there are semi glossy polyurethane and probably epoxy as well.

You want to follow the steps on the box really closely. Basically, just mix part A and B but the timing is really critical.

You have more time than you think, try not to stress.

What you will need:

  • mixing containers – I went to the dollar store
  • stir sticks – I used a paint stir stick
  • lots of drop clothes that you can throw out after
  • gloves – vinyl work fine

Make sure you tape the drop clothes (I used cheap dollar store ones) all along under the counter and floor.

Don’t mess around with that part because it it met to really stick. I did get it on a few places and it scrapped off with a knife but did leave a small mark.

It looks incredible with the darker grey DIY kitchen cupboards that I chalk painted. you can check out that post here: DIY KITCHEN CABINET | Chalk Paint

Epoxy on the finished red oak butcher block
DIY BUTCHER BLOCK COUNTERTOP

Tammy Seed

I am a passionate, goal oriented girl that loves DIY home projects and sharing with others how they can create and build easily as well!

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